Jul 1, 2014
RICHMOND, Va., July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power is warning its customers about a scam in which robbers gained access to homes by posing as utility workers. Several incidents of this type have been reported to police in the past few days in Northern Virginia.
"We want our customers to be safe and secure and completely confident whenever they interact with our employees," said Dan Jenkins, director-Corporate Security, Safety and Health. "Think twice before allowing anyone you don't know into your home - no matter who they say they work for. Unfortunately, scams, particularly involving the elderly, are becoming much more common and potentially dangerous."
Dominion Virginia Power employees rarely need to enter a home to provide service. Independent energy contractors working on Dominion conservation programs such as Home Energy Check Up may contact customers directly to schedule an appointment. These contractors should carry and present proper identification and program materials when they arrive.
"If you feel threatened, call 9-1-1 immediately," Jenkins said. "If any customer ever has a question about the authenticity of a person presenting themselves as working for Dominion Virginia Power or 'the power company,' keep your door locked and ask them to remain outside while you verify their identity."
Dominion Virginia Power maintains an up-to-date list of all its employees, authorized contractors and independent contractors. The company can be reached at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to verify the identity of anyone who says they work for the company.
In these and other cases, police say scam artists use various ruses to get money or gain access to the home, saying they want to check on a lights-out situation, lay power lines, conduct energy audits, fix or replace meters, or collect money for overdue power bills. Recently, there also have been several telephone-based scams by people identifying themselves as power company employees and demanding that the customer pay immediately in cash or by a "green-dot" card or their power would be disconnected.
Dominion Virginia Power does not ask customers by telephone or in person to pay immediately in cash or by green-dot cards that serve as cash. It may ask customers who are behind on their bills to go to an authorized Dominion Virginia Power payment center to pay their bill. Any customer with a question about such a call should contact the company at 1-866-DOM-HELP, (1-866-366-4357).
The company works closely with law enforcement personnel whenever it receives reports of scams such as these. Timely customer reports of such incidents and quick police action recently led to an arrest in another state in a nationwide scam where utility customers were told their power would be shut off if they did not pay immediately in cash or by green-dot card.
In general, police advise:
The Better Business Bureau provides these tips to avoid falling for a scam:
Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), which is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power
For further information: Rob Richardson 804-771-6115 Robert.E.Richardson@dom.com, Bonita Harris 757-857-2700 Bonita.B.Harris@dom.com, Chuck Penn 703-796-9308 Charles.Penn@dom.com